Holmes Leads FBR Mickelson Close Behind

By Associated PressFebruary 2, 2008, 5:00 pm
2007 FBR OpenSCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- J.B. Holmes shot a 5-under 66 to build a two-shot lead through three rounds of the FBR Open on Saturday in front of a record 170,802 partying fans at the rowdiest stop on the PGA TOUR.
Holmes, who won the FBR as a rookie in 2006 but is winless since, took a 14-under 199 total into Sunday's final round with just over $1 million at stake for the winner on the desert layout at TPC Scottsdale.
Charles Warren, co-leader after the first round, shot a 67, bogeying the final hole, to match Jonathan Byrd at 12 under. Byrd had a 68.
Ben Crane and Nick O'Hern were 11 under, and two-time champion Phil Mickelson was in a group of six at 10 under.
The turnout, which featured gridlock in front of concession stands and along the path between the 18th and 16th holes, broke the single-day record of 168,337 set in 2006.
'The entire golf course had people everywhere,' Mickelson said. 'It's so special for this tournament, for the game of golf, to have something like this.'
With one day to go, the tournament has drawn 466,551 fans. Turnout always falls considerably for the Sunday round, even when the Super Bowl is not just down the road, but the overall tournament attendance record of 536,767 is well within reach.
The turnout set records for Thursday (83,657) and Friday (120,891), too.
'It's totally different than anything we experience,' Warren said. 'But even compared to yesterday you could tell that there were a lot more people out there.'
The big-hitting Holmes won the FBR in just his fourth tournament as a rookie. He has shot 68-65-66 this year, giving him eight rounds in the 60s in nine played overall on the 7,216-yard course.
Holmes pulled away from a tie with Warren with birdies on the par-5 13th, par-4 14th and par-4 17th. Holmes opened his round with a bogey on No. 1, then reeled off birdies on holes three through six.
Overall, he had three bogeys and eight birdies.
'It was a good day all around,' he said. 'I made a couple of more bogeys than I would have liked, but luckily I was making putts and made a lot of birdies today.'
Mickelson shot a 67 in the third round but bogeyed both par 3s on the back nine. The second came on the raucous 16th where more than 10,000 loud fans surround the layout, lustily cheering good shots and booing the bad ones just as fervently.
The crowd chanted 'A-S-U! A-S-U!' for Mickelson's alma mater, Arizona State.
But he knocked his tee shot far to the left, then his chip shot fell short of the green. Local favorite or not, the crowd let him have it.
'Sixteen is great when you hit a good shot, and I hit a terrible shot,' Mickelson said. 'So they were just as hard on me as they would be anybody, and rightfully so.'
He followed that bogey with a birdie on the par-4 17th to return to 10 under.
One of those tied with Mickelson was Justin Leonard. The only other time the Super Bowl was held in Arizona, 1996, Mickelson beat Leonard in three playoff holes.
After a frost delay for the third day in a row -- this one lasting 58 minutes -- 45 golfers finished the second round Saturday, with a logjam of five in the lead when the third round began.
Among those missing the cut were defending champion Aaron Baddeley, who wound up at even-par 142.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - FBR Open
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

    Getty Images

    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.


    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

    Getty Images

    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.

    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open

    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm